Stop and search: black Britons’ experiences and perceptions and how these affect their relationship with the police

Harris, Howard (2014) Stop and search: black Britons’ experiences and perceptions and how these affect their relationship with the police. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The overall aim of the dissertation was to investigate and explore black Britons’ experiences and perceptions of stop and search and how these affect their relationship with the police. Relevant literature was reviewed to ascertain the academic perspective and understanding of the subject. It was worthwhile to conduct this research as it is perceived that black Britons are frequently and disproportionately targeted for stop and search and these have and continue to deteriorate the relationship between them and the police.
    The research involved reviewing related literature and conducting individual interviews with ten black British men. The interviews concentrated on four main themes, one of which was introduced by a respondent. They are: frequency of stop and search involving black Britons; lack of trust and confidence in the police; reaction to stop and search; and refusal to complain. Secondary statistics from three official agencies were also analysed to understand trends. The findings from the interviews were then compared with the secondary data and literature reviewed.
    The main findings suggest that black Britons feel that they are frequently and disproportionately stopped and searched by police. Frequency emerged as a main concern of respondents while the secondary data indicated disproportionality, although some reasons were offered in the literature reviewed for disproportionality. Both have affected the relationship negatively and help erode black Britons’ trust and confidence in the police. Intrinsically, some black Britons have resorted to conflicts with the police instead of complaining, citing an unreliable complaint system.
    It is recommended that: similar individual studies be conducted on other ethnicities; future research on stop and search consider the reasons proposed for disproportionality; the decision to change the legislation reducing the information on stop and search records be reconsidered; and that stop and search records include information about the complaint system.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Beth Atkins
    Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2015 14:31
    Last Modified: 06 Mar 2015 14:31

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